Evelyn, a veteran social anxiety sufferer, shared her strategy for dealing with the holiday season.
1. Sit down with your best friend and talk to her about how you feel
Acknowledge that you need someone to talk to, and ask that they act as a professional. This is not a popular job, but if you say something like, “I want someone to talk to about my anxiety,” they’ll appreciate the call.
2. Connect with other people
Talking about the anxieties that you experience during the holidays is often the best antidote to an inability to deal with the time period. Often, my friends have the same feelings I do.
3. Address their worries
If you suffer from social anxiety, people may share ideas on coping with the challenges that they face. There are a few ways you can do this:
Ask them to write about how they solved their anxiety.
Give a gift to each other, and see how that helps. (For the record, I never bought “anxiety therapy gift cards”.)
Send them a text message saying you care and asking how they’re doing.
Of course, there’s no single way to fix this problem. Sometimes, you have to put in the effort to let yourself feel in control of the situation, which usually means talking to a therapist or a psychologist. Other times, the conversation may have to be skipped altogether.
Even people who may not have the same tendencies as you might be able to help.
“Sit down with a friend,” said Donovan Richards, author of the app The Confidence Guide, “and focus on someone who you really care about, a person who understands you. They might find some coping strategies that are helpful for you.”